Sunday, March 4, 2018

How to Dry Herbs

Growing herbs is a great way to add a fresh touch to recipes, however sometimes when you grow fresh herbs, you grow too much, or want to keep some of your harvest for use in the fall and winter months.  One way to keep herbs is to dry them for long term storage. They don’t have the same freshness, but store for much longer than other storage options. 

There are two main ways to dry herbs, by letting them hang to dry naturally or using the oven.  Drying herbs naturally involves weeks to months of hanging herbs just letting them “dry”, therefore I use the oven to speed up the process.

To use your oven to dry herbs, start by turning your oven to 180 degrees F, or the lowest setting your oven will allow.
Next, wash your herbs to get any dirt or other plant debris off them.  Then once they are clean, dry off the leaves to get as much water off them as possible. Next, spread them out on a cookie sheet to use in the oven and continue to let them dry. 

Once the evidence of water is gone, put the herbs into the oven for intervals of 30 minutes until the leaves of your herbs are “crunchy”.  This process can take 2 to 4 hours based on the herb.  Small leaf herbs like thyme will take less time compared to larger and thicker leaf herbs like oregano. 
Once the leaves are fully dried, use your fingers to pull the leaves off the stems and crunch them up into little bits.  Put them in an air tight container for safe keeping.

Now you can keep using your herbs throughout the year!

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